Monday, April 7, 2008

Charlton Heston

A hero and icon has died. No, not Moses, but Charlton Heston. (FYI, Moses died a looong time ago.) I'm curious, what will Charlton and Moses be talking about now?

To quote my daughter:
"Heston was a man of integrity and a gentleman, who had been married to his wife Lydia Clarke since 1944. When he announced in 2002 that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, he did it with class and dignity, saying in a taped announcement "For an actor, there is no greater loss than the loss of his audience. I can part the Red Sea, but I can't part with you, which is why I won't exclude you from this stage in my life. .... If you see a little less spring to my step, if your name fails to leap to my lips, you'll know why. And if I tell you a funny story for the second time, please laugh anyway."

They don't make people like Charlton Heston anymore, and he will be missed. I've included a couple of my favorite quotes from him.

"Political correctness is tyranny with manners."

"It's hard living up to Moses."

"I marched for civil rights with Dr. King in 1963 - long before Hollywood found it fashionable. But when I told an audience last year that white pride is just as valid as black pride or red pride or anyone else's pride, they called me a racist. I've worked with brilliantly talented homosexuals all my life. But when I told an audience that gay rights should extend no further than your rights or my rights, I was called a homophobe. I served in World War II against the Axis powers. But during a speech, when I drew an analogy between singling out innocent Jews and singling out innocent gun owners, I was called an anti-Semite. Everyone I know knows I would never raise a closed fist against my country. But when I asked an audience to oppose this cultural persecution, I was compared to Timothy McVeigh"

"In the beginning an actor impresses us with his looks, later his voice enchants us. Over the years, his performances enthrall us. But in the end, it is simply what he is."

"Jackson was one of my favorite Presidents. One mean son of a bitch."

"I'm a seeker too. But my dreams aren't like yours. I can't help thinking that somewhere in the universe there has to be something better than man. Has to be." (Planet of the Apes)

"I leave the 20th century with no regrets. But one more thing - if anybody's listening, that is. Nothing scientific. It's purely personal. But seen from out here everything seems different. Time bends. Space is boundless. It squashes a man's ego. I feel lonely. That's about it. Tell me, though. Does man, that marvel of the universe, that glorious paradox who sent me to the stars, still make war against his brother? Keep his neighbor's children starving?" (Planet of the Apes)

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